Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jesus Economics

For a man who had no place to live, no money to buy food, and no government agencies in place to provide such crucial items we must be in awe that He died on a cross for thwarting the government and not in the streets from starvation. Of course, such a surprise could only come if we missed His message.

In the struggles that the American economy is facing we can see how truly the cries of America the Christian are far from correct. This statement can be said with boldness and in truth because the story of the first group of Christ's followers, recorded in the book of The Acts, show a different kind of Christian, the kind of Christians that were not shocked by Christ not dying in the street.

Acts 2:44-45 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

The first group of Christians seemed to take much more from Jesus than just showing up to church and voting for policy changes. They somehow tied taking care of each other in with their spirituality and their relationship to God?! Along with how to do church, Jesus taught them how to live in an economy where the majority of people were impoverished due to extreme taxation, which took half of an average persons income. Jesus showed them an economy that did not rely on what their government was or was not doing for them. These Jesus Economics were followed by the earliest groups of His followers and we find that none of them were without.




They had it all. My guess would be that they were not left without any extra-amenities either.

Jesus' Economy did not involve an MBA to function. Jesus Economics were very simple, take care of each other. It seems as though the earliest Christians saw that Jesus did not put a limit on how much they were to take care of each other so they did not put on any limits (Part of the story of the first church, then, is that they did not limit anything Jesus had said. Better yet, they seemed more to try Jesus' teachings to the max. They really believed in what He had to say).

I'm just thinking through some thoughts of how Christians should be responding to the situation with our economy. Part of me knows we never would have arrived at this place if Jesus' Economics were practiced. So that part of me is a little bit angry with our culture and mad at myself for our consumeristic ways. At the same time, another part of me is hopeful. Jesus' Economics can be put in practice today and lives will be affected in very positive ways.

Note: Jesus' Economy is not intended to save wall street, but to save people.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Gustav set the news media in hysterics yesterday. They flew their correspondents to various parts of the Gulf to keep a close watch on any "news" that could come about. Everyone's eyes were fixed on the levees in New Orleans for what seemed to be a hope of their destruction under the Hurricane's brutal force. Throughout the day the energy level of every reporter rose when something "big" was about to happen.

In one instance, Fox News had Geraldo Rivera screaming at the sighting of a person in the water. Geraldo got very excited about the scenario; however, his excitement was squelched when he realized that the man was equipped with a life jacket and a life-line. The man in the water was apparently doing his job when Geraldo became aware of him.

Toward the end of the day the vibe that the news anchors and reporters were giving off was one of failure. Watching them gave me the idea that somehow yesterday was a failure because Gustav did not leave in his wake destruction equal to that of Katrina, like, we made you a cake at least you could do is blow out the candles. All of this left me totally discouraged.

Now, I was not discouraged because Gustav did not live up to his potential as a hurricane, as it appeared the news media was. I was discouraged that the news media did not praise the fact that had Gustav been as bad as Katrina, most of the Gulf areas in Louisiana were evacuated successfully. I was discouraged that the levees, which have undergone major reconstruction since Katrina and held up to the fierce poundings of Gustav, were not a reason to rejoice, and applaud given to their engineers and the constructors. Basically, I was pretty upset that instead of making the fact that huge lessons were learned from Katrina news, everybody was sort of hoping for another storm of mass destruction.

The real "news" yesterday, was not the destruction that did not happen. The real news was that Katrina taught us a whole lot, and because of that we are not in the same turmoil we were three years ago. All of which is a very fitting analogy to how life works. We mess up and there is a lot of destruction. We learn our lesson, don't mess up, and there is a lot of nothing: no stress, no headache, no heartbreak, no loss.

As I think about it, God created us to have no stress, headache, heartbreak, loss. Only through our failures did we obtain those treasures in life. When Eve and Adam ate of the fruit, their bite gave us all much more than a belly full of sweetness. Their bite brought upon us a default of failure, which equates to a default of hurt and labor and tears and pain and on and on and on the list of woes goes.

We know that Gustav's arrival was less than interesting. After the correct preparations were made watching Fox news became painfully boring, but for all of the people who slept in peace and safety, for all of those who will have a home to arrive back to, for all of those who wont be ridiculed for poor engineering, for a country that is not twisted against itself the failure to be destructive because of the victory of learning lessons seems worth it all.